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7 stages of writing a personal statement

 1. Do your research!

Before you start writing your personal statement, it’s important that you know exactly what you want to study and why. Research the course or courses you’re interested in to find out exactly what they involve. If you’re still umming and ahhing about what or where you want to study, attend an open day!

Subject sessions held at open days are a great opportunity to speak to current students and staff, allowing you to find out more about the degree(s) that you’re interested in.

2. What to include:

Now that you know exactly what you want to study, look at university websites to see what skills and qualities they are looking for. Jot these down and make a list, or make a mind map of the experience and skills you have which show your interest and enthusiasm for the subject, such as:

  • Previous studies related to the course
  • Relevant jobs, placements, work experience or volunteering
  • Activities or hobbies
  • Training or achievements

3. Start writing!

This can be daunting but remember you don’t have to get it perfect the first time round. Using your list or mind map, start elaborating on each point, reflecting on how it relates to the course and how it showcases your interest.

Don’t worry about grammar, spelling or word count at this point. You’ll tackle that later! Most importantly, remember to press save!

4. Rewrite

Now that you’ve gotten down all you can possibly say, it’s time to start shaping your words into something readable. If you’ve gone over the word limit, start crossing out unnecessary words and focus on what you really need to get across.

Don’t forget, now is the time to check your grammar, spelling and punctuation.

5. Get your work checked

By this point you’ll probably have read your personal statement about hundred times, but there might be a few things you’ve missed. So make sure you leave time to show your draft to your parents, teachers or career advisers to get some feedback.

6. Check length

Once you’ve made all the necessary changes. Check that the length is no more than 4,000 characters or 47 lines of text (including blank lines).

7. Cut and Paste

Once you’re completely happy with your final statement, cut and paste it into your UCAS online application and remember to read it over to make sure everything fits.

If you’re looking for more advice on writing your Personal Statement check out our Personal Statement webinar featuring academic selectors from Newcastle University discussing exactly what they look for an application.

Good Luck!

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